|collection of j. lynch|
i had a massage today and i now feel all rubbery. all the little bubbles of tension and all the toxins held in my muscles are currently flowing through my veins as a result, swift like autumn leaves in a muddy river after a heavy rain. the massage helped me form an awareness about my body that i didn't have before. for instance: now i realize that i cross my legs when i sit and paint, and every time i sit for that matter, evidenced by the knot in my hip. and the tension in my calves and my shins, that may have something to do with me never wearing socks, because i can't find any, and my chronic cold feet. on top of that, my painters arm and the attached shoulder is all full of tough spots, and my neck too, from holding my head steady at a 45 degree angle while i'm watercoloring at my table easel. and then there are the long term muscle memories: scar tissue from that one massive strawberry on my thigh after a skateboarding accident, the clenched muscles around the gentle bend in my spine called scoliosis, the sciatic nerve pinched once and forever changed in a volleyball drop-and-roll, and even some scar tissue hiding under my tattoos. who knew that my muscles were withholding so much information about my physical patterns of use and abuse?
when i was talking with jill bliss the other day about the perils of pricing artwork, she explained why she absolutely had to raise hers. "i have a whole team of health professionals i have to pay in order to keep on working," she said, in dealing with common artist's problems like carpel tunnel and tendinitis. luckily, my one hour massage cost me exactly as much as one painting, and so it works out. but it amazes me how doing something so seemingly low-impact, yet repeatedly for years on end, could take a gradual but enormous toll on your body. it would appear, by the amount of ailments some of us artists struggle with, that we were doing some king of tough manual labor, like digging trenches or felling trees. yes, after another long day at the easel, these words by andy warhol sum it all up:
"Why do people think artists are special? It's just another job."